Harmful chemicals lurk in countless everyday items we consume or come into contact with: furniture, household cleaners, toys, candles, and even food.
When you first start realizing that the majority of mainstream products you’ve been using for years are full of toxic chemicals, it can feel a bit frightening and overwhelming. Where does one even start to move towards a less toxic lifestyle?
That’s exactly what we’re going to cover today. Here are five simple tips for moving towards a safer, healthier lifestyle that will greatly benefit you and your family.
1. Eat organic as much as possible
Increasing the amount of organic food you eat—and consequently reducing the amount of non-organic food you eat—is a great place to start. To the uninformed, organic food just looks like a more expensive version of regular food, but it’s actually quite different.
If something is organic, it means that it is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides and insecticides, growth hormones, or antibiotics. In other words, it’s naturally grown as nature intended.
Is it worth paying a little extra for? We think so. However, if organic food is out of your budget, be sure to clean your conventional produce well using a hydrogen peroxide 3% solution.
2. Upgrade your cookware
Now that your diet is a bit less toxic, it’s time to take a look at your pots and pans. That’s right, even your cookware can be filled with harmful chemicals!
If you’ve been using non-stick Teflon pots or pans, we’re sorry to tell you that it’s time to retire them. The non-stick coating that makes eggs slide so easily out of the pan is made using a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (also known as PTFE), which is a plastic polymer that starts to leach toxins when heated above 572 degrees Fahrenheit. These toxic fumes can lead to flu-like symptoms called polymer fume fever. Scary stuff!
So, what kind of pots and pans are safe to use? Great options include 100 percent ceramic cookware, stainless steel cookware, glass cookware, or real cast iron cookware.
3. Clean up your cleaning products
Want to know a simple strategy for switching to a more natural home? Dump your toxic cleaning products and replace them with one all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. That’s right, you don’t need a cleaning product for every surface in your home!
Rather, you can replace all of your chemical-laden cleaning products with one bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3%. This one solution has over 60 uses around the home and garden from disinfecting surfaces to cleaning tile and grout to deep cleaning your mattress. Plus, it’s completely non-toxic and biodegrades into just water and oxygen, making it safe to use around your whole family.
Oh, and it’s cost-effective and environmentally-friendly, too. What an easy way to improve the health of your home!
4. Use non-toxic beauty & personal care products
Take a minute to think of all the products you use on yourself every day: toothpaste, body wash, perfume, serums, scrubs, deodorant, makeup, soaps, sunscreen, moisturizer, hair products—the list goes on and on! Many of these products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals like parabens and phthalates, which is especially concerning considering our skin is our largest organ and easily absorbs whatever we put on it.
Instead of using conventional, store-bought beauty and natural care products, try using natural substances like coconut, jojoba, or almond oil. You can even make toothpaste and mouthwash using non-toxic products like hydrogen peroxide 3% and baking soda. Or, if you’re going to buy personal care products off the shelf, opt for ones that receive a top-rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
5. Eliminate artificial fragrances
We all want a nice-smelling home, but unfortunately, many of the products we use to accomplish that goal are highly toxic. Air fresheners, room sprays, plug-in scents, and scented candles can be full of chemicals ranging from formaldehyde to phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors and carcinogenic.
Trade in those artificially-scented products for things like pure essential oils, fresh flowers, or non-toxic candles. Their natural scents are much more appealing, anyways.
The bottom line
You’d think that if a product was on a store shelf it would be guaranteed to be safe, but unfortunately, that’s just not the case. The world is a different place than it was a hundred years ago and it’s up to you to look out for the well-being of yourself and your family. By making the above-mentioned changes, you’ll be well on your way to living a much healthier lifestyle.
Don’t feel like you need to make all of these changes at once, either. Pick one that resonates with you to start with and then work through them. With each change you apply, you’re taking one more step towards living a safer, healthier lifestyle that will greatly improve your and your family’s life.